2:12 PM PT -- MLB has just hit Joe Kelly with an 8-GAME suspension for throwing at multiple Houston Astros players during Tuesday night's game.
The league cited Kelly's history of intentionally throwing at batters for the lengthy punishment. Remember, it's only a 60-game season so 8 games is a big deal.
"Kelly, who has previously been suspended in his career for intentional throwing, threw a pitch in the area of the head of Alex Bregman and later taunted Carlos Correa, which led to the benches clearing," MLB said.
Kelly is appealing his suspension -- but good luck with that.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also got a 1-game suspension as a result of Kelly’s action.
Both Kelly and Roberts will begin their suspension Wednesday night -- when the Dodgers continue their series with Houston.
Additionally, Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined for the bench-clearing incident that ensued.
L.A. Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly was a man out for REVENGE on Tuesday -- firing baseballs at the cheating ass Houston Astros ... and nearly igniting a brawl in the process.
He talked trash to the players. He threw a 96 MPH fastball at Alex Bregman's head. And, mocked several players from the mound.
He also struck out Carlos Correaand shouted, "Nice swing, bitch!"
It was all part of a highly anticipated matchup between the Dodgers and the Astros -- the first time the teams had played since an MLB investigation revealed Houston had cheated their faces off during the 2017 season.
Kelly wasn't on the Dodgers during that 2017 World Series run -- but he was on the Boston Red Sox, which had been eliminated by the Astros in the ALCS earlier that year.
So, yeah ... a bunch of people had some serious axes to grind.
Fast forward to Tuesday when Kelly took the mound in the 6th inning of L.A.'s game against Houston in Texas ... it didn't take long for him to appear to try to exact some revenge.
After getting Jose Altuve out ... Kelly got down 3-0 in a count to Bregman -- and then fired a 96 MPH fastball that missed the star 3rd baseman's head by inches.
Just two batters later ... Kelly threw a breaking ball that nearly clipped Correa in the back of the head as well!!
Neither player was happy with the throws ... and after Kelly struck out Correa a pitch or two later -- Kelly mocked Carlos on his way off the mound.
Joe made crying faces at the shortstop, then appeared to yell, "You gotta cheat to hit!" and other cuss words ... and that's when both benches cleared and almost got into an all-out brawl!!
Cooler heads ultimately prevailed ... but Astros managerDusty Bakerwas PISSED at Kelly after the game, saying his actions put Bregman and Correa's careers in danger.
"When you throw a 3-0 fastball over a guy's head, now you're flirting with ending his career," Baker said. "And then a couple other guys, balls were close. And then what really enraged everybody is when he told Carlos when he struck him out, he told him, 'Nice swing, bitch.'"
For their part, Kelly and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts both said there wasn't any intent behind the pitches.
But, with Correa and Bregman being the two most famous players associated with the Astros' sign-stealing, trash can banging scandal that perhaps cost the Dodgers a World Series ring in '17 ... it's not hard to see through this one.
L.A. ended up winning 5-2, by the way ... but there's still another game left in the series Wednesday night.